Inderjit Singh Bagri
Date of Birth:
Village Chak Vendhal, District Jalandhar, Punjab
Prince George, BC
Inderjit Singh Bagri was born in the village of Chak Vendhal, in Punjab, India in the year 1952. He was nineteen years old when his uncle living in Prince George called him to Canada. He came as a visitor and went to New Westminster, where he worked for some time before moving to Prince George. He stayed with his cousin sister for six years and then moved after getting married. Inderjit remembers that the majority of Punjabi’s living in the area were single and about eight to ten people lived together in one place as there was a shortage of money and a place to stay.
Inderjit recalls that he couldn’t go out with his friends as the white people would cause trouble for them. Whenever he and the rest of the community members would go out for walks or for work, there were some white people who would swear at them and call them names like “Hindu.” Thus, people didn’t really go out for walks, but everyone would get together with friends and family and eat and drink together. Inderjit worked at a mill for seventeen years but had to leave as the mill shutdown. In 1990, he started working at another mill after the first one shutdown, but left because he faced a lot of discrimination. The Punjabis working there told him that he was being discriminated against because he was a new person in the mill.
There was no gurdwara when Inderjit moved to Prince George. The Punjabi families approached the city council to allow them to construct a gurdwara, but the city did not have enough space as the existing space was reserved for schools, churches and other public centres. Seeing this, the Punjabi community bought the church on Kelley Street in 1975 and built a gurdwara there. According to Inderjit, the Indigenous people in the area were kind and loving towards the Punjabi community.